Please read James 2:14-26
Faith is what you believe. Christian brothers and sisters, if we want others to know the truth about God, then we must act on what we believe.
If I tell someone that God is love, because that is what I believe, the best way for that person to believe what I say is to demonstrate God’s love. As a musician, sometimes all I have to do is sing God’s praises, or a song that relates to the other person’s need. My actions back up my faith. We must not be ashamed of the gospel!
Many times Christians get snarled up about faith and works. Some do obey God from love for him, they believe everything he says and go from there. This is acting in faith, and plain obedience means letting Christ work through you. Alternatively, many Christians work to prove themselves. To whom? How this flushes out is that they are constantly trying to prove themselves to themselves and to other Christians. Life becomes a treadmill. Ultimately, faith is totally excluded and all their works are ineffective and worthless. Christ is not first in front of them; people-pleasing has replaced him.
James points out the example of Abraham, who listened to God and BY FAITH prepared his only son Isaac for sacrifice. Can you even begin to imagine that? You can read the whole story in Genesis 22. Try believing what Abraham had to believe, that God is asking you to sacrifice your child from whom God had also promised a great nation would come forth. Remember that Abraham’s wife was barren and that Isaac was also born miraculously when Abraham was about a hundred and Sarah ninety years old. Hebrews 11: 18-19 says that Abraham believed that God was able to bring Isaac back from the dead, if he was sacrificed. Of course, we know that even as Abraham was poised to slay his own son in obedience to God, God told him to stop and provided a lamb for the sacrifice, instead. (This story always gives me pause to think of the Lamb God has provided for all of us; Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, sacrificed for your sin and mine.)
Are you a believer? A follower of Jesus Christ? Is there something you are thinking about right now that you know the Spirit is telling you to do? Acting in faith, so that you don’t get snarled up in human works, begins with this: put one foot in front of the other like Abraham climbing the path that day with Isaac, and begin to do what you know to do. The Lord is with you, and he will complete the work he has begun in you.